The Open Window

The Open Window
Artist Henri Matisse
Year 1905
Medium Oil on canvas
Location National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
Dimensions 21 3⁄4 in × 18 1⁄8 in
55.3 cm × 46 cm
Famous Paintings by Henri Matisse
L’Atelier Rouge, 1911
The Conversation, 1912
Woman Reading, 1894
The Dance, 1909
The Snail, 1953
Green Stripe, 1905
Beasts of the Sea, 1950
The Open Window, 1905
Woman with a Hat, 1905

The Open Window is one of Matisse’s most famous paintings. It is an oil on canvas that was painted in 1905. This is an interesting depiction featuring an open window, out of which one can see several sailboats on the water. This is what Matisse used to see from his apartment window which overlooked the Southern Coast of France.


The style of this painting is technically known as the Fauvist style. This style is synonymous with Henri Matisse as during the period 1900 to 1909 he painted several paintings in this style. This style is very vibrant, with expressive brushwork and brilliant colors.

Special Qualities and Techniques

Matisse made use of pairs complements, that is, the use of two colors that bring out the best of one another in a striking manner. These interesting combinations generate a visual vibration and greatly enhance the effects of light.

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